Right2water citizens’ initiative: MEPs want Commission to act 

The European Commission’s response to the very first EU citizens’ initiative (ECI) petition on the “Right2Water” lacks ambition and could discredit the ECI system, says a resolution to be put to a vote on Tuesday. ECIs enable citizens to ask the Commission to propose laws in areas within its competence, if they can muster at least one million signatures from at least a quarter of EU member states.

The text proposed by the Environment committee calls on the Commission to table legislative proposals, if appropriate including a revision of the EU Water Framework Directive, in order to recognise that affordable access to water is a basic human right. Given that water suppliers provide services of general interest, these services should be permanently excluded from EU single market rules, the text says.

Note to editors


In February 2014, organisers of the “Right2Water" campaign attended a hearing with the Environment Committee, in association with the Development, Internal market and Petitions committees. The ECI collected 1.884.790 signatures.


The initiators urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and give a legal undertaking that water services will not be liberalised in the EU. MEPs shared the view that access to water is a basic human right, but some pointed out that rules on providing drinkable water remain within the remit of EU member states.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution


Debate: Monday, 7 September

Vote: Tuesday 8 September

Press conference: Tuesday, 8 September - 15.30

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